The issues surrounding the proposed Newcastle United boycott of the Spurs match have predictably taken most of the headlines on the past week.

The media coverage intermingled with Newcastle fans’ disgust at yet another feeble derby showing – five defeats in a row against Sunderland seemingly summing up the lack of desire and ambition under Mike Ashley.

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However, yet another depressing story had crept pretty much underneath the radar.

In advance of the much publicised attempts to get large numbers of United fans to miss Spurs, it appears that some are starting six days early.

It has emerged that Newcastle appear certain to have the lowest number of travelling fans in my lifetime going to Anfield to support the team on Monday night.

The fan website say that Newcastle only took 800 tickets for the match and that some of the restricted view tickets amongst those 800, still remain unsold.

The Monday night timing and expense of the tickets obviously play a part but it looks like Mike Ashley has even broken the spirit of many of the hardcore away support who would go regardless.

Tickets remaining are £47 for adults, £34.50 for over 65s and £15 for under 17s, obviously ridiculously priced but little different to what Liverpool fans were charged earlier in the season.

Where the greed of Mike Ashley also comes into play on this, apart from the prices he charged both the Liverpool fans and the Newcastle fans buying tickets for November’s home game, in two ways.

As usual, if you buy a ticket to go and support Newcastle away, you have to pay Mike Ashley a surcharge of £1 on each ticket. A small amount but a disgraceful taxation by the Newcastle owner.

In addition, Ashley only allows you to buy even a single away ticket if you first pay him £35 to be a member for a year.

So if you are an ex-pat living down in the north west or further on into north Wales, and this is the only match you might to be able to go and see, then it would cost an adult £83.50 for a single ticket.

It is these kind of things that gradually get accepted by many Newcastle fans as the norm but they are yet another blot on the way Mike Ashley runs the club.

Remember as well, the NUFC owner extended this tactic to recent home matches against Manchester United and Arsenal.

Stating in advance that he would refuse to allow tickets to go on sale to the general public after members had had their fill, Mike Ashley chose to have thousands of empty seats at those two home games against Man Utd and Arsenal, rather than sell them to fans who didn’t have a membership.

Part of a long-term strategy to try and force all (non-season ticket holding) Newcastle fans to pay a premium of at least £35 each season if they want to buy tickets to any decent games.